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Winners of the 2011 Skyscraper Competition

eVolo magazine has run a tidy little competition for the last five years, inviting architects to innovative new skyscraper typologies. Today, the winners of the 2011 Skyscraper Competition were announced and we’ve got a recycling wind turbine, an energy- and water-harvesting horizontal tower, and a re-imagining of the Hoover Dam.

Jury members included SOFTlab principals Jose Gonzalez and Michael Svizos, architecture critic John Hill, Mitchell Joachim of Terreform One, CarloMaria Ciampoli of Live Architecture Network, and a host of other working and teaching architects (see the full list here).

FIRST PLACE: ‘LO2P Recycling Skyscraper’ by Atelier CMJN (Julien Combes, Gaël Brulé)

“The idea behind this skyscraper is to recycle the old cars and use them as building material for the new structure. The building is designed as a giant lung that would clean New Delhi’s air through a series of large-scale greenhouses that serve as filters. Another set of rotating filters capture the suspended particles in the air while the waste heat and carbon dioxide from the recycling center are used to grow plants that in turn produce bio-fuels.”

“The idea behind this skyscraper is to recycle the old cars and use them as building material for the new structure. The building is designed as a giant lung that would clean New Delhi’s air through a series of large-scale greenhouses that serve as filters. Another set of rotating filters capture the suspended particles in the air while the waste heat and carbon dioxide from the recycling center are used to grow plants that in turn produce bio-fuels.”

SECOND PLACE: ‘Flat Tower’ by Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, and Xavier Schirr-Bonnans

Imagined for medium-size cities where vertical skyscrapers do not fit the skyline, the flat tower is a “new high-density typology that deviates from the traditional skyscraper. The medium-height dome structure is perforated with cell-like skylights that provide direct sunlight to the agricultural fields and to the interior spaces. The dome’s large surface area is perfect to harvest solar energy and rainwater collection.”

THIRD PLACE: ‘Reimagining the Hoover Dam’ by Yheu-Shen Chua, United Kingdom

This project merges the programs at the current Hoover Dam — viewing platform, a bridge, and a gallery – into a “single vertical super structure.”

There a long list of honorable mentions, and we’ve highlighted below some especial favorites (clockwise from top left):

 

‘Sports Tower’ by Sergiy Prokofyev and Olga Prokofyeva, Ukraine

‘RE:pH Coastscraper’ by Gary Kellett, United Kingdom

‘White Cloud Skyscraper‘ by Adrian Vincent Kumar and Yun Kong Sung, New Zealand

‘Seeds of Life Skyscraper’ by Mekano (Osama Mohamed Elghannam, Karim Mohamed Elnabawy, Mohamed Ahmed Khamis, Nesma Mohamed Abobakr), Egypt

‘Waste Collector Skyscraper’ by Agata Sander and Tomek Kujawski, Poland

‘Hopetel: Transitional High-Rise Housing’ by Asaf Dali, United States

Via Architizer.com

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SOM commissioned for FTP City in Danang

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM) has been awarded the masterplan commission for FTP City in Danang, Vietnam. SOM’s preliminary plan for a sustainable new high-tech community at the edge of the city has been applauded by local authorities, including the Head of Planning and the People’s Committee of the City of Danang. SOM is now working closely with these authorities to finalise the project’s design and ensure its delivery.

The plan has been commissioned by FPT, an up-and-coming national IT and telecommunications company with over 10,000 employees. Covering an area of over 180 hectares, the plan incorporates a wide range of uses organised into a series of distinct districts, including a Town Centre, a Business District, and a series of residential neighbourhoods. The plan also incorporates a new University Campus for FPT University – specialising in information technology, software development and e-services. The campus will also contain a research institute and training centre for FPT employees, allowing new technology to be developed further and put directly into practice.

SOM’s concept is formed on key principles to reduce energy needs and carbon emissions by promoting best practices in mixed-use development in an emerging local context of luxury resorts and single-use residential communities. Instead, FPT City will promote a diverse living community with integrated local services accessed via sheltered and shaded walkable streets. In addition to a web of natural greenways, the plan also incorporates a wide network of smart infrastructure. As a major national IT provider, FPT will ensure the delivery of state-of-the-art communications and information technology to every business and household in the community.

The design also brings to life part of a strategic regional river corridor initiative to be implemented between Danang and Hoi An, a national tourist destination, by establishing a new riverfront eco-park. The waterfront park engages a large existing lake at the river’s edge and will be designed to restore, protect and enhance the wildlife habitat along its entire length and around the lake’s perimeter.

Via World News Architecture

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New Architecture From Broadway to Xinjiang Province

Broadway Malyan continues global expansion with first theatre design in China

International architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan has completed the design of its first theatre in China, the Kanas Lake Performance Theatre.

The new theatre, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Xinjiang province of North West China, is a multi-purpose theatre for the Provincial Government. It will house a 1,200-seat auditorium for performance arts including theatre, opera, musicals and dance.

The design draws on powerful yet simple forms, with the theatre auditorium enclosed within two protective wings wrapping the shell as if protected within clasped hands. The smooth shape and flowing forms sit harmoniously within the natural contours of the site and dramatic background of the Kanas mountains. The sweeping forms rise around the theatre shell to evoke the dynamic movement of traditional Chinese ribbon dance.

Broadway Malyan has now delivered the design package to the local design institute and will monitor the detail design and site build. Enabling works are already underway and work on the main structure is due to start this summer.

Director Peter Vaughan said: “We have a broad project portfolio in the cultural and leisure sector. However, this is our first theatre project in China and it reflects our ever-increasing portfolio of high-profile, international projects, across all sectors.

“This portfolio is growing as the result of our strategic global push and focus on growing our business in the Far East and China, with the practice having recently announced that it earns just over half its fees outside of the UK and Europe.”

 

Via World News Architecture

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Architectural Landmark Near Completion as Cesar Pelli Tops Out Red Building at Pacific Design Center

LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Cesar Pelli celebrated a milestone for the Red Building on Monday, as the long-awaited final building of the Pacific Design Center nears completion. The Red Building is the third building of the landmark West Hollywood showroom-and-office complex whose design and construction span nearly 40 years.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110301/NE56547 )

At a topping-out ceremony, the architect joined developer and owner Charles S. Cohen to put in place a piece of red glass that completes the Red Building’s narrow triangular facade on San Vicente Boulevard. The 400,000-square-foot office building is slated for occupancy by year’s end.

“I am delighted to see the Red Building so close to fruition,” said Pelli, Senior Principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “To know that the Pacific Design Center will soon be how I envisioned it is very exciting.”

Pelli conceived the 14-acre site to contain three buildings arranged around a plaza. The first, nicknamed the Blue Whale, was designed when Pelli was with Gruen Associates and completed in 1975. The Green Building, designed with his own firm, now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, followed in 1988.

The most dynamic of the three, the Red Building is composed of two curved, sloping towers atop seven levels of parking. Between the towers will be a courtyard planted with palm trees. The six-story West Tower slopes inward against the Hollywood Hills. The eight-story East Tower curves upward.

The ceremony also paid tribute to the “Los Angeles 12,” a group of Southern California architects featured in a 1976 exhibition at the Blue Building. Pelli, Roland Coate, Raymond Kappe, Daniel Dworsky, Craig Ellwood, Frank Gehry, John Lautner, Jerrold Lomax, Anthony Lumsden, Leroy Miller, James Pulliam and Bernard Zimmerman were in the original show. Eric Owen Moss and Michael Maltzan we also recognized at the ceremony.

About Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Founded in 1977 and led by Cesar Pelli, Fred Clarke, and Rafael Pelli, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has designed some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, including the World Financial Center in New York, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong. The firm has been honored with critical acclaim and hundreds of design awards, including the American Institute of Architects’ Firm Award and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

SOURCE Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

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Rem Koolhaas’s Architectural Progeny.

The architect Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are the forces behind some of the most striking structures built in recent years, including the Seattle Central Library and the CCTV headquarters, in Beijing.

The new MOCA (www.mocacleveland.org)

But dozens of architects who were trained at or otherwise passed through Koolhaas’s firm are now spread across the world and beginning to make their mark, observes Metropolis. The magazine dubs them Baby Rems.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, for example, is moving ahead with construction of a striking new building, which features triangular facades that, from certain angles, allow luminescent peeks at the museum’s interior. It’s the handiwork of Foreign Office Architects (FOA), an OMA offshoot.

The Balancing Barn, which has been feted in England (and lives up to its name, cantilevering off into space), is a project of MVRDV, which also traces its roots back to Koolhaas’s office.

Metropolis’s generational schema confuses me—who counts as Generation One, again, and who as Generation Two?—but Work A.C., evidently part of the second wave, has gotten the nod to revitalize the Hua Qiang Bei Road, in Shenzhen, China; the renderings look pretty wild, and also impressive.

All this amounts to another reminder that even architecture, long considered the redoubt of the lone genius (see: Ayn Rand), is in fact better viewed as a shifting network of creative minds with personal, professional, and intellectual ties: a Kaleidoscopic Discovery Engine.

Hat tip to Christopher Shea, WSJ

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Beautiful Underground Aloni House Blends in With the Earth


This stunning underground home by Deca Architecture utilizes a natural palette of materials to maintain a low profile while complementing the serene Mediterranean landscape that surrounds it. Situated in a small valley with views of the coast, the Aloni house consists of two stone walls bridged by a beautiful green roof that spans two adjacent slopes. The home takes advantage of rustic materials that maximize energy efficiency while allowing the house to blend in with the rugged terrain of Greece’s Antiparos Island.


The Aloni house finds its inspiration in the landscape of the Cycladic Islands, which were shaped in the past by earthen retaining walls erected to create land fit for farming. Deca Architecture decided to incorporate this traditional building typology into the design of the house, and the result is a structure that resonates with the topography of its site while taking advantage of low-impact materials that impart high insulation values. The single-level 240 square meter home features walls made of retained earth that regulate the interior temperature thanks to their high thermal mass, while a green roof provides further insulation from the bright Mediterranean sun.

To read full article via Inhabitat click here.

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NYC Council Approves New Domino Project


The landmarked Domino Refinery complex will be preserved and adapted for residential, commercial, and cultural uses, including 30- and 34-story apartment buildings. Rafael Viñoly Architects developed the overall master plan as well as the conceptual design for all new buildings on the site; Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners developed architectural concepts for the refinery; and Quennell Rothschild and Partners developed the landscape design. The master plan will transform the industrial complex into a modular, mixed-use, and multi-income residential development that emphasizes open space and public access to the river while preserving the refinery and its famed 40-foot-tall Domino Sugar sign. The project will create approximately 2,200 residential units, 660 of which will be affordable. The more than 223,500 square feet of retail will include a grocery store that will adhere to FRESH zoning standards in addition to approximately 143,000 square feet of community facility space. A nearly one-acre open lawn will anchor a new public waterfront esplanade.

Read more posts from the NYC AIA via eOCULUS here.

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New Green H2Otel Hotel Planned for Amsterdam by Powerhouse Company + RAU

H2Otel

RAU and Powerhouse Company developed H2Otel, a luxurious and completely sustainable hotel for Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The project, a prototype for luxury hotel typologies, is shown at the National Design Triennial ‘Why Design Now?’ at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Introduction
How to make a hotel tower more sustainable? As a typology, the modern hotel is at odds with the concept of sustainability. Most of the time they are empty and unused, yet they have to be fully accessible, comfortable and pleasurable all the time. Guests usually enter their rooms in the evening. Large glass planes provide stunning views but also heat up the rooms when no one is there. The biggest energy consumer in hotels is usually the cooling system. So, why are the facades of most highrises the same on all sides, despite their different exposure to sunlight? Apart from that, modern hotels are increasingly build according to global formulas in brownfield locations. How do we create a local sense of place while using the particular efficiency if the hotel typology?

Water
Water is an important theme of the H2Otel. Situated alongside the Amstel river, the hotel is overlooking the historic center with its numerous canals, the docks on both banks of the River IJ and, on a clear day, the North Sea. But the name, H2Otel, does not only refer to its scenic views. Water is the building’s main carrier of energy. Through oxy-hydrogen generators water can be used for heating, cooling, cooking and the generation of electricity.

Efficiency
Fluctuating occupancy rates are an obstacle in reaching efficient climate control, especially in large hotels. In order to improve efficiency, an adaptive, sensor-based climate system monitors and controls the indoor climate in real time and for each room individually. It recognizes the number of occupants in a room and adjusts the level of conditioning accordingly. Conditioning is automatically switched off in empty rooms. This climate system helps to save approximately 40% of the building’s energy consumption.

While innovative technology is an important asset in achieving energy efficiency and carbon neutrality, inventive design solutions make a crucial difference in keeping the building’s demand for energy at a minimum in the first place.

Much much more via Arch Daily here.

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A green answer to Vanity Fair’s architecture poll has its own blindspot

Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Credit: Tim Griffith.

When Vanity Fair recently released the results of a survey ranking the most significant pieces of architecture of the last 30 years — with Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, topping the list — the poll was met with extended grumbling. Some people griped about the many architects, including Richard Meier and Daniel Libeskind, who voted for their own work (Vanity Fair indeed!); others noted that the average age of those polled seemed to be around 70.

But the biggest complaint, by far, was that the results seemed completely to ignore green architecture, arguably the biggest single movement in the field since the emergence of modernism a century ago. In response, Lance Hosey, a writer and an architect who worked for years at William McDonough + Partners, a Virginia firm known for a commitment to sustainable design, organized an alternative survey for Architect magazine in which he polled a number of leading green architects and others. (Hosey e-mailed me earlier this month asking if I’d take part in the voting, which I did not.) He used the same format as Vanity Fair: He asked each voter to name the five most important green buildings since 1980, and separately the single most significant sustainable building finished since 2000.

The results were released Tuesday. The winner in the first category was the Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, a building by McDonough + Partners that relies on solar panels, among other green-design features, to produce 30% more energy than it uses. (Hosey swears his old affiliation had no impact on the results, though the voters did include one current McDonough employee, Kira Gould. Unlike Vanity Fair, Architect has no plans to publish the contents of each ballot; Hosey did tell me, though, that one architect in the poll gave every one of his votes, six in all, to his own work.) Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, which is topped by an undulating green roof made of native plants, was named the most important sustainable building since 2000.

I don’t have any issues with the winners of Hosey’s alternative survey: I admire both the McDonough and the Piano buildings, and I can understand the desire to confront the obvious limitations of the Vanity Fair project. (Similarly, given the way the Vanity Fair poll was set up, the Guggenheim Bilbao struck me as entirely deserving.) In the end, though, I have the same basic problem with Hosey’s effort as I did with the first poll: Asking voters to nominate single buildings necessarily produces results that give a skewed view of the way architecture — and more important, the way we think and write about it — has evolved in recent years.

Among critics and architects alike, there has been a rising understanding that architecture is not just about stand-alone icons but is tied inextricably to urban planning, real-estate speculation, capital flows, ecology and various kinds of networks — and similarly that architecture criticism means more than simply writing about impressive new landmarks, green or not, produced by the world’s best-known firms.

Indeed, sustainable design and its champions deserve significant credit for helping architecture as a whole adjust its values and move toward a wider, richer sense of how to measure its progress and chart its signal achievements. In that sense, it seems to me that Hosey wound up falling into the same trap as the Vanity Fair tastemakers whose shortsightedness he hoped to correct.

Maybe, in other words, the most important achievement in green architecture over the last 10 or 30 years is not a single building at all. Maybe it’s a collection of schools or linked parks or the group of advisors brought together by a young mayor somewhere. Maybe it’s a new kind of solar panel, a tax credit or a zoning change. Maybe it’s tough to hang a plaque on — or photograph for a magazine spread.

— Christopher Hawthorne, via Los Angeles Times (blog)

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